With the success of Owensboro Dance Theatre’s 2019 Dance Battle Extravaganza, which pitted community dance teams against each other for the grand champion rights, a second dance battle is being held Feb. 22 for the 2020 participants.
The jitters from last year’s performers have disappeared with several of the dance groups ready to bring it again this year — and take home the bragging rights and grand prize.
ODT’s Development Director Jennie Boggess said several of the performers from last year signed on immediately for this year, which she said was very exciting.
“We didn’t know what to expect as it was a new event last year, but it was so great to sell as many tickets as we did,” she said.
Owensboro Police Department, Owensboro High School, Owensboro Middle School, Sutton Elementary School, Puzzle Pieces and GRADSA and Highland Elementary are all returning to compete. Also competing are Excursions, Fairydust Entertainment and Pure Barre Owensboro.
Community voting has already begun on social media, which allows dance battle teams to involve their students, parents and people who are involved in the organization to help get the votes prior to the event. It also provides the opportunity for each group to raise money for their program.
Community voting is available until midnight on Feb. 21, and donations are accepted that equal one vote per dollar for the battle team selected.
“Several of the teams have plans for what they want to do with their winnings,” Boggess said.
Dance battle audience members will vote for the winners through text message after the battle’s live performances. The first-round winners will each receive $100 to be donated to their previously-selected charity.
The grand champion will receive $1,000 that goes directly to the team. The team that wins the community favorite vote will take home $500 for the team.
Three of the teams are from Owensboro Public Schools and Boggess said that the kids that perform help with the choreography of their battle dance.
“The city does so well with their fine arts programs,” she added.
The first half of the event will feature Giordano Dance Chicago, America’s original professional jazz dance company and then Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, the sponsor of the battles, will perform the opening number to kick off the battles.
“This is the only time I know that that professional dancers and dancers who have never danced on stage a day in their life are in the same show,” said Boggess. “It runs the gamut.”
The Dance Battle Extravaganza is a fundraiser for ODT’s community outreach, which includes several programs — Triple-A (Arts Access for All), Rising Stars, L.E.A.N, Parkinson’s Dance.
Tickets range from $15 to $31 and are available at the RiverPark Center website or by calling 270-687-2770. Group ticket sales (more than 10) can be made by calling RiverPark Center.